Funding of the arts and heritage

Written evidence submitted by Film London (arts 49)

1. What impact recent, and future, spending cuts from central and local Government will have on the arts and heritage at a national and local level

Significant spending cuts will affect the strength and competitiveness of the creative industries in London and the UK. It is important for the arts and heritage sector to be able to maintain the quality of the delivery of their services and if affected by cuts this will impact on visitors’ experience and hence London will as a result suffer in terms of being able to attract businesses, filming and visitors alike. There is also a particular risk of cuts affecting already arts and heritage provision at a local level. As local authorities will have to prioritise statutory services, cut back will affect creativity at grassroots level.

2. What arts organisations can do to work more closely together in order to reduce duplication of effort and to make economies of scale

Arts organisations should look more closely at partnership working and sharing of resources where possible. There is a definite need for advocacy at a national level and the ability of an organisation like the Arts Council being able to take an overview of the sector and hence being able to make links.

3. What level of public subsidy for the arts and heritage is necessary and sustainable

There needs to be a careful balance. Arts and heritage services do require public funding for their core costs and cannot rely on philanthropy for these. It is also important to keep in mind the value of free access to a number of the arts at the moment such as museums. We agree with the Arts Council’s assessment that any saving in excess of 10% to 15% would have a serious impact with regards to the ability of individual organisations to deliver their core functions and services. .

4. Whether the current system, and structure, of funding distribution is the right one

ACE is excellently placed to be a router for national and regional funding and we support their recent suggestions to make the funding structure increasingly flexible.

5. What impact recent changes to the distribution of National Lottery funds will have on arts and heritage organisations

Although we welcome the shift in favour of arts and heritage we find it difficult to comment on the recent changes, particularly in the light of the recent announcement with regards to the abolition of the UKFC. We would like to emphasise that lottery funding should not be allocated as a replacement for core services.

6. Whether the policy guidelines for National Lottery funding need to be reviewed

Over the last 10 years it has been less clear what the lottery funds are designated for and there has been a use of lottery funds for core services. We believe that lottery funding should not be a substitute for that and would welcome a review to clarify this.

7. The impact of recent changes to DCMS arm’s-length bodies - in particular the abolition of the UK Film Council and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council

At this stage we understand that government remains committed to film and the museums sector and that the funding will be routed in a different way.

8. Whether businesses and philanthropists can play a long-term role in funding arts at a national and local level

Businesses and philanthropists can play a long-term role in supporting arts and heritage but should not be relied on for funding such organisations’ core costs.

9. Whether there need to be more Government incentives to encourage private donations

If government wants to promote philanthropy for the Arts and heritage sector then it would be helpful to put in place some incentives. However, this should not be at the detriment of funding to core services.

September 2010